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Breast is Best

Too Much Or Too Little Milk

A day or two after birth, the milk that is produced is called colostrum. It is very nutritious and contains antibodies that are necessary to build your baby’s immunity. When your baby first begins to breastfeed, the milk may shoot out as there is too much. Many babies swallow quicky and then start to cry. Don’t worry if the amount of milk initially does not match your baby’s needs: either there is too much or too little. Supply and demand evens out in a few weeks.

When you have too much

• Every now and then, drink a glass of sage tea but only after consulting a doctor or midwife. Never drink more than a cup a day. It heals painful breasts.
• If your baby is very hungry and suckles violently, it places pressure on your breast. Feed him some milk by hand.

When you don’t have enough

• Tea blends that stimulate milk production are anise, caraway and fennel. You can drink the tea even during pregnancy but don’t overdo it.
• Place your baby on your chest as often as possible as this stimulates milk production.

Engorgement

Almost every breastfeeding mother experiences a milk jam. In other words, the milk flow is blocked. This may happen because your baby sleeps through his feeds or drinks only from one side. The affected breast becomes hot and hard and starts to hurt. You must act before your breast gets infected. Place a warm compress on your chest and remove the milk by hand, pressing from all directions. This may take a while and you should stop only after the pain subsides. You could also use a breast pump but only until the milk flow resumes. Even after the pain disappears, you may experience chills. Warm your bed before you sleep.

A breast infection cannot always be avoided. If you have chills, high fever, a headache and your body aches, visit your doctor. Even with a chest infection, you don’t necesarily need to stop breastfeeding. 

Other Problems

• Flat nipples: Women with flat or inverted nipples can breastfeed. There are certain exercises you can try during pregnancy to dig out the nipple. You can also use nipple shields.
• Twins: Two babies to wean is definitely demanding but trust your instinct and your babies’ needs.
• No rest: When mothers have older children, the latter may act out their jealousy at having to share her love. They may throw tantrums and cry. Support your older child with lots of affection and reassure them that they are euqally loved.
• Work: Women returning to work from maternity leave can express milk and refrigerate it.

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